Real Life Money Book Summary - Real Life Money Book explained in key points
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Real Life Money summary

Clare Seal

An Honest Guide to Taking Control of Your Finances

3.6 (112 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

"Real Life Money" by Clare Seal is a personal finance book that focuses on overcoming debt, reducing spending and taking control of our money. It provides honest and relatable advice based on the author's own experience.

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    Real Life Money
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    If you’re struggling with your finances, it may be because the circumstances are outside of your control.

    Are you one of those people who can’t bear to check their bank balance at an ATM? Do you push warning letters from the bank under a pile of magazines, far out of sight? You’re not alone.

    If your finances are a mess, take a breath. While it’s important to take ownership of your situation and take steps to get back on track, not all of it is your fault. When it comes to money, one thing that puts many people at a disadvantage is a lack of financial knowledge.

    The key message here is: If you’re struggling with your finances, it may be because the circumstances are outside of your control. 

    Consider the state of financial education. In UK schools, there is none – not a single class on the subject. So when, at 16- or 18-years-old, students leave for either work or university, most don’t have the faintest idea about savings, debt, or mortgages. 

    In the case of the author, the only time she recalls talking about money at school was when an eccentric teacher boasted about successfully manipulating a store-credit scheme. Other than that, nothing! 

    Instead, financial education is a job that’s often left to parents. And that can be a lottery – lots of people aren’t born to parents who know about money. Though they might be able to teach lots of other valuable things, it’s a rare few who’ll know about, say, investing or mortgages. 

    As well as being disadvantaged by a lack of financial education, lots of young people are also affected by the broader economic situation. Since the 2008 financial crisis, many people have struggled through no fault of their own. In the United Kingdom, things are especially dire. The Conservative government has watered down protections that once guaranteed job security and rising wages. And, with secure work hard to come by, it’s become more difficult to put money aside – whether toward a pension, for a home, or even to avoid going into debt.

    This financial insecurity is a much bigger problem than individual failings. In January 2019, the average UK household debt stood at £15,400. It’s clearly a bigger problem than people overspending on holidays, clothes, and trendy furniture they’ve seen on Instagram!

    While there are concrete things you can do to improve your financial position, it’s important to remember: it’s not all your fault.

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    What is Real Life Money about?

    Real Life Money (2020) is part memoir, part financial guide. Through describing her own painful struggle with debt, author Clare Seal sets out a path for anyone wanting to get a handle on their finances. She examines the complex personal relationships that many of us have with money, as well as the social and economic factors that determine our circumstances.

    Real Life Money Review

    Real Life Money (2020) by Clare Seal is a book that offers invaluable insights into our relationship with money and how to transform our financial lives. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • With its honest and relatable storytelling, the book allows readers to reflect on their own money habits and provides practical strategies to improve them.
    • Backed by personal experiences and real-life anecdotes, it helps readers navigate the complexities of budgeting, debt, and financial planning in a way that is accessible and engaging.
    • By tackling taboo topics and dispelling financial myths, the book takes a refreshing approach to personal finance, ensuring it is anything but boring.

    Who should read Real Life Money?

    • Anyone struggling with debt
    • Millennials with their finances in disarray
    • Renters worried they’ll never get a foot on the property ladder

    About the Author

    Clare Seal runs the popular Instagram account @myfrugalyear, which details her life in debt. Her articles on finance, debt, and the challenges facing millennials have appeared in The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Grazia, and Hello! Magazine.

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    Real Life Money FAQs 

    What is the main message of Real Life Money?

    Taking control of your finances can lead to a fulfilling and stress-free life.

    How long does it take to read Real Life Money?

    The estimated reading time for Real Life Money is several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Real Life Money a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Real Life Money is worth reading because it provides valuable insights and practical advice for achieving financial well-being.

    Who is the author of Real Life Money?

    The author of Real Life Money is Clare Seal.

    What to read after Real Life Money?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Real Life Money, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Money by Laura Whateley
    • Elevate by Joseph Deitch
    • The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards
    • Clever Girl Finance by Bola Sokunbi
    • Mind Over Money by Claudia Hammond
    • Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell
    • The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
    • Possible by William Ury
    • The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt